Diet Myths:
Busted!

Whether you're looking to shed a few holiday pounds or simply commit to a healthier diet, SheKnows sheds the light on 6 diet myths to avoid that can de-rail your diet and throw you off track.

Drinking diet soda helps you lose weight:

Many women believe that replacing regular soft drinks with diet ones cuts calories and sheds pounds but this isn't necessarily true. In fact, a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition found that women who increased their intake of diet soda did gain less weight than those who cut down on the sugar-sweetened versions, but they still gained weight. Soft drinks – whether they're diet, sugar free or regular – still add unnecessary calories to your daily intake. And, because fluids aren't as satiating as solid foods, might prompt you to keep eating. If you want to lose weight, you'll have to part with your Diet Coke.

Nixing breakfast is good for you:

Skipping regular meals is one of the worst things you can do when trying to lose weight. Your body needs calories just like a car needs fuel, and depriving it of necessary nutrition is a sure-fire way to derail your diet. Instead, stick to a plan of three solid meals per day. Keep in mind portion sizes and healthy options. Some women might prefer six smaller, snack-sized meals instead. Do what works for your body but keep it moderate and within reason.

Labels with "low fat" or "fat free" are always good:

Definitely not true! Just because a product's label says it's low in fat or carbohydrates doesn't mean its low in calories. Read the nutrition information with a skeptical eye and break down the numbers per serving. This will help you determine whether an item is truly healthy. Choose products based on the amount of calories needed to meet daily requirements. It takes a little more time and energy, but its one of the best ways to maintain a target weight.

The more physical activity, the better:

A regular workout routine is obviously important to a healthy lifestyle but overdoing it can actually have negative impacts on your body. Hitting the gym seven days a week can weaken your immune system, strain joints and generally wear down your body. Muscles need time to relax and repair so you'll want to schedule at least one day "off" from the gym. Switch up your routine each time you do go in so that you're not over-working the same set of muscles.

Fresh produce trumps frozen or canned:

Frozen or canned veggies and fruits can be just as healthy as fresh produce. Many of the frozen fruits and vegetables are often right off the vine and flash-frozen before packaging which helps preserve nutrients. In fact, some canned produce is actually healthier than the raw kind because our bodies absorb antioxidants from things like tomatoes and carrots easier when the products are cooked. The bottom line: it doesn't matter how you get your produce, as long as you're eating it.

A diet's only working if you lose a ton of weight:

Losing even just a few pounds can have a major impact on your overall health. For example, your cholesterol drops an average of three points for every two pounds of extra weight that you drop. Blood pressure can improve significantly after losing as little as nine pounds. Even if your goal is to lose double-digits, take it a few pounds at a time and revel in the health benefits every step of the way.

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